As landscape professionals representing more than 150 years of collective experience and over 800 employees, we stand together to protect the health and livelihoods of our employees and their families. We believe our health is more essential than our landscape services during this crisis.
We are industry peers, friends, and yes, competitors who share the same values of protecting our employees and communities. In response to the COVID-19 pandemic we agree to effectively cease field operations while continuing other critical business functions remotely. The best way for us to be a part of the solution is to stop our operations and encourage our staff to stay home and “flatten the curve”. Our employees are like family to us, and their health and safety is our number one priority.
While we all genuinely appreciate the intent of our industry leaders’ efforts to deem our work essential, we just don’t agree. The vast majority of our projects are not essential to public safety, and we do not view building walls and patios, planting trees and shrubs, edging beds, spreading mulch, weeding beds or even planting the beautiful flowers that make so many people smile, as essential tasks. At the same time our work requires the use of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that competes directly with those we are trying to help, the medical and research professionals. At a time when doctors and nurses are in desperate need of PPE, especially safety masks, it would be unforgivable for them to be used by our employees in their stead. We understand there will be exceptions. If it snows, we will keep roads, parking lots and sidewalks safe. In addition, there will be “critical path” elements to others’ construction projects that may require some of us to perform tasks in order for other trades to complete their scopes of work. These are exceptions, however, and will be treated as such.
All of that said, we feel that the most meaningful contribution we can make to this cause is to answer the call of the health and research community to stay home. Protecting public health is an easy priority to choose over our normal business activities. We urgently request that others in our industry do the same. In the words of one of our valued clients, “We should think about this as a war”. We encourage you to join us in this battle. We encourage you to choose people over profit. We encourage you to STAY HOME! Have faith in the medical professionals and scientific researchers who are putting their lives on the line for us and asking us to put our businesses on hold for them. They need our help! Our collective efforts will help us beat this virus, get back to work, and build a prosperous and healthy future for all. In the meantime, know that we all stand ready and willing to provide logistical help to any in the medical and/or research field so please don’t hesitate to reach out to any of us. We’re all in this together!
Bob Marzilli, R. P. Marzilli & Co., Inc.
Dave Schumacher, The Schumacher Companies, Inc.
Mike Coutu, Sudbury Design Group
Chris Joyce, The Joyce Companies